The Inquiry Stage Of The Collection Process

This article picks up where the previous post left off.  In this article The Marketing Analysts Washington D.C. Translation Company along with their partners in Houston discuss the Inquiry stage of the collection process associated with collecting from credit clients who do not speak English.

During the reminder stage, Houston Translators suggest that their clients assume the customer has forgotten or misplaced the bill.  If you receive no response, your assumption must change.  With fair or poor risks, you might decide to move directly to the urgency stage.  With good risks, that is, customers who have paid regularly, assume that the unusual circumstances have delayed payment.  Your purpose during the inquiry stage is to learn why payment hasn’t been made and to arrange for payment.

In the translated and localized versions of your inquiry letter, you must persuade the delinquent customer to pay or explain why payment cannot be made.  Your tone should be helpful, reflecting your concern with the delinquent’s problem, but your primary goal is to collect.  Emphasize payment, but don’t provide excuses by asking if the customer has complaints about your product or service.

The following inquiry to Mr. Feldstein is courteous, yet firm.

For the past five years, you have been one of our most valued clients.  Our consultants have completed for a chance to work on your programming and documenting problems.  Knowing they would receive a warm and helpful reception.

Can we now be helpful in turn?  Our reminders about your past due balances have gone unanswered.  Since you have always paid promptly, we must assume that some unusual circumstances have prevented a reply.  How may we assist you?

We’d appreciate your explanation, Mr. Feldstein, or your remittance of the past due balance of $1,200 by March 10.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Unlike the first stage, where you might send from two to five reminders, send only one letter of inquiry.  Because you send only one inquiry, don’t fall into these collection traps: (1) implying that payments can be avoided or postponed indefinitely, (2) providing delinquents with excuses for not paying, (3) suggesting that inferior goods or services are the cause of nonpayment, (4) backtracking to the reminder stage by suggesting the delinquency results from an oversight.

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